Past Event – 2561 Vesak Day – Dhamma Talks by Prof Frank Hoffman

Date: 10 May 2017 to 12 May 2017(Wed)
Time: 3.30pm – 5.30pm (10 May), 9am – 5pm (11 May & 12 May)
Venue: The Buddhist Library
Click here to Register. ALL ARE WELCOME!

“Buddhist Ethics” – 10 May (Wed), 3.30pm to 5.30pm

This paper summarizes several Pali Buddhist sutta-s and shows the contributions these make to the Early Buddhist philosophical position on ethics. In “Discourse on the Lesser Analysis of Deeds” Buddhist views of social ethics are explained with reference to the varna (“caste”) system. The basic idea is that lowness and excellence results from what one does, not from being born into a particular caste. This is a contrast from the earlier brāhmanical view, in which varna determined lowness or excellence. In “Discourse on Perfect View” elimination of the Three Hindrances of ragā, dosa, and moha, translated below as greed, hatred, and confusion, are discussed. This last discourse is a cornerstone of Buddhist ethics and is of great significance for the experience of enlightenment. In “Discourse at Madhura” the view of the superiority of brāhmins to others is rejected. In “Discourse to Sandaka” the loud-mouthed Sandaka obtains some basic instruction in Dhamma.  In “Discourse on the Simile of the Cloth” Buddha said just like a dyer could dye and unclean cloth and make an unclearly dyed cloth, so a bad rebirth is expected when the mind is impure.  On the contrary, a dyer dying a clean cloth gets a good result, and so a good rebirth is expected when the mind is pure.

“Environment, Non-attachment, and Enlightenment” – 11 May (Thur), 9am to 5pm

9a.m. – 11:30 a.m: Application of “The Sun” Sutta from Anguttara Nikaya to Buddhist Thought and Practice (2.5 hours)

11.30am – 1.00pm: Break for lunch

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m: A Buddhist View of Human Relationships (1.5 hour)

2:30 – 3:00 p.m: Coffee or Tea Break

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m: Buddhism and Ecology (1 hour)

4:00 – 5:00 p.m: Understanding Emptiness (1 hour)

“Experience, Faith, and Practice” – 12 May (Fri), 9am to 5pm

9:00 – 10:30 a.m: Understanding Experience in Buddhism (1.5 hour)

10:30 – 11:30 a.m: The Role of Faith & Seeing Things As They Are (1 hour)

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m: Lunch break

1:00 – 2:00 p.m: Group Discussion of Practices (1 hour)

2:00 – 3:00 p.m: Developing Sila (ethics or morality), Samadhi (concentration), Panna (wisdom); eliminating  Elimination of Raga (obsession), Dosa (hate), Moha (confusion or delusion)

3:00 – 3:30 p.m: Coffee or Tea Break

3:30 – 5:00 p.m: Application of Buddhist Thought to Everyday Practice: Dealing with Anger

About Prof. Frank Hoffman

Professor Frank J. Hoffman received the PhD in Philosophy of Religion at King’s College, University of London and the MA degree in Philosophy at University of Hawaii, Manoa.  Dr. Hoffman is Associate Editor of the international journal, Asian Philosophy (Routledge), Visiting Professor, Buddha-Dharma Centre of Hong Kong, and Visiting Scholar, South Asia Center, University of Pennsylvania.  Frank J. Hoffman has 119 publications including four books: Rationality and Mind in Early Buddhism (India 1987, 2002); Pali Buddhism with Deegalle Mahinda (England 1996); Breaking Barriers with Godabarisha Mishra (USA 2003); and Introduction to Early Buddhism:  Philosophical Texts, Concepts, and Questions (Sri Lanka 2013).  He has lectured in USA, China, Hong Kong, India, England, Germany, Japan, and Korea. Professor Hoffman taught Asian and Comparative Philosophy in USA for about 30 years, has been a visiting professor in China at universities such as Peking, Fudan, and Wuhan, and is now based in Hong Kong.

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